FRIDAY (7/27) TRAINING CAMP TRANSCRIPTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"Good seeing everybody – appreciate you all being here. Great day, guys worked hard, very humid – so it's good for us to get a little sweat going. We're happy with how practice went. What do we have?"
We just had a chance to talk to CB Tavon Young. What have you seen in his development? When you look at him, do you see the same player he was two years ago? (Garrett Downing) "I don't know if you look at it from that perspective. Tavon, who he asked about, is doing a great job. He looks good to me. How does he compare to before? I don't know. But he looks good, and he's just trying to get better every single day and improve. He's definitely good enough to play and help us win – just try to keep building from that."
What does he do best? I know he plays larger than his size._ (Bo Smolka)_"That's probably a pretty good description of it. He does a great job of contesting passes in the end. There's a lot that goes into that. He's a good tackler, he's a good blitzer. He stays close to receivers for a lot of different reasons and contests passes really well. That's the essence of the position."
CB Tavon Young also mentioned how he's not complaining anymore. Does that mental switch help a player on the field that much? (Shawn Stepner) "It's a good question, and it's a great question for him, because he's always been motivated. It's probably true for any of us, any human being. When you realize something is taken away from you, and how much it matters to you … Maybe some things in life – our families, our jobs, whatever it might be – takes on a new meaning. Our health [also]."
Have you thought about what quarterback rotation you might use for next week's game?_ (Jamison Hensley)_ "We have that set. I never really talk about that. We just go do it. But we have the quarterback rotation set, and then we'll organize the rest of it in the next day or two. They'll be some guys who won't play in that game, probably you might guess the guys who haven't practiced as much that first week."
Any update on RB Kenneth Dixon? He walked off the field yesterday. Also, how are the three undrafted running backs looking to you? (Aaron Kasinitz)"The three undrafted rookie running backs are looking good. Just the only thing I'd say about the injury thing is we don't have anything serious. We have training camp stuff that we rest guys from, but nothing serious."
Have you seen OLB Matthew Judon take a step from where he was a year ago? What has he done differently? (Don Markus) "Yes, Matthew, has taken a step. One thing that jumps out at me right away is if you're watching practice, watch how hard he's practicing. Watch him run to the football. To me, running to the football is what defense is. If you run to the football, you can cover up a lot issues. He's not only doing it, but he's setting the tone for the rest of the guys to do it. To me, that's what leaders do. That's probably the best description that I could give to you on how he's doing right now."
Is there going to be a difference in the defense with defensive coordinator Don Martindale compared to his predecessor? (Stan Charles)"There's a difference every year in defenses. This defense will stand on its own two feet for whatever it is. As far as who's coordinating and all that, even when the same coordinator is in place, he changes things. To get into all that – what's going to be different and all that – we'll see when we play."
What has impressed you about rookie LB Kenny Young? (Bo Smolka)"The biggest thing about Kenny Young is he plays fast. He closes. He covers ground really well, which is also Patrick's [Onwuasor] strength, so we have some real speed at linebacker. It'll be a fun battle to watch unplay. Patrick is still ahead, because Patrick is playing pretty well also. That probably speaks to how Kenny is playing that it's even mentioned as fight right now."
We saw you playing with CB Jimmy Smith's kid. Has it been a little while since you tossed a toddler up in the air? (Ryan Mink) "It has been! I have a niece, Samantha, who I get to toss up in the air – but even she's getting too big. Jimmy Smith's son, 'Beans,' is 4, so he's just the right size for me. I can really get him up in the air high. He has no fear. We did Superman, the Superman swing." (Reporter: "Brandon Williams threw him up a lot higher though.") "Brandon got him a lot higher. It's a competition! I just thank God I didn't have Brandon Williams as a kid to throw up in the air." (laughter)
What's your greatest reason for optimism? (Stan Charles) _"I don't even think about it. I haven't got the reasons for optimism list. I love the question though, and it's all great." _(Reporter: "Well you're an optimistic guy.") "I'm optimistic. We'll see how the chips fall. I told the guys, 'We'll see how the chips fly.' They told me they actually fall. I said, 'No sometimes they fly.'"(laughter)
There are reports that you might be looking into free agent CB Bashaud Breeland. Is it just a situation where you're always looking? (Jamison Hensley)"I have no idea. Not really thinking about it right now. I like our guys, and we're coaching our guys."
How much more preparation do you think you need to get ready for the game? Is it coming up sooner than expected? It's been on the calendar for a while. (Jerry Coleman) "We need all the practice we can get. We're not preparing for this game; we're just preparing to be the best team we can get. Every practice day we get is valuable. It's a camp game – it's not an in regular season game. It's a camp game; it's like a practice. So, we'll go out and play it, and we'll learn and get better from it."
What do you do to get ready for full-speed tackling? (Stan White) "I don't know yet. We'll see. I'm not sure if I'm on tackle yet. We haven't tackled yet. That's a good question. I don't know that we'll tackle before this game. I think I might just let the rookies go out there and see how they do. We've done lots of tackling drills. But do we want to live tackle right now? I'm skeptical I want to do that before this game. We might do it before the next game, but before this game I might not do it. That's still up in the air – we'll see. I might get a little wild out here and say, 'Let's do it.' We'll see."
OLB Matthew Judon
On the biggest difference in his game from last season: "[I have] two years under my belt. I started a couple of games last year. I know they've got a lot more confidence in me, but every year I'm just trying to get better and better."
On what he thought he needed to work on coming into this season: "Everything. I wasn't a Pro Bowler. I wasn't All-Pro, so the whole game: my conditioning, my hands, my feet. Everything, I need to work on."
On if he has a different mentality this year since head coach John Harbaugh says he's practicing harder: "I'm just trying to make the games easier [and] wear myself out in practice, so hopefully, we don't get as many plays in the games, and I'm fresher, longer."
On how the new pass rush will be, especially with the new defensive setup:"It's going to be as good as we want it to be, and as hard as we work. Like I said, we all fine-tuned our game this offseason. We all got a year under our belt – the guys like Tyus [Bowser] and Tim [Williams] – and they are seeing more things. They're seeing more things at this level. And, we all follow 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs]. Hopefully, we can be as good as we want to be. We've got great inside rushers: 'Earl' [Willie Henry], Brandon [Williams], [Michael] Pierce, those guys. Then, us outside guys, we take it to a new level."
On what needs to happen if he wants to lead the league in sacks: "I can't get tired. I can't get tired, third down, third quarter, fourth quarter, when we know it's a passing situation. I can't get tired. I need to get off the ball [and] go get after it."
On if he sees structural differences in the defense:"We're just going to get out there and play defense. The object of the game is to stop the opposing offense from getting in the end zone and do it as many times as possible to succeed and help your team win the game. We're going to play defense. It doesn't matter who's the defensive coordinator. It doesn't matter who's on the field – if it's young guys, if it's old guys, if it's preseason or it's postseason. We're going to play our defense."
On if his progression with the team has reminded him of his progression in college: "Yes, kind of. Hopefully [I'm] taking the next step. Every year, you want to come back with a new move or a new 'something.' You don't want to … You're either getting better, or you're getting worse. You never stay the same, so I'm just trying to get better."
On if there's more left in him to have another breakout season similar to last season: "Yes! I'm not old, so hopefully there's a lot left in the tank. But I'm just, like I said, just trying to get better. Every practice, every rep, every game, just trying to get better."
WR/RS Chris Moore
On the wide receiver group: "This new receiving corps we've got, we've been looking good. Our main mission is to go out here and make plays. Every time we come out here, we practice hard, and we've been making some good plays out here."
On if he's personally kept his momentum from where it was last season: "Definitely. I feel like I picked up right where I left off, and I'm excited for the season. I'm ready to show everybody what I can do, and I'm here to make some big plays."
On how much of his excitement is due to knowing he "belongs" on the team: "That's a good part of it. Last year, [it] helped me get comfortable and helped me realize that I could play here, and I could make some big plays here. As I keep going through, I feel like I'll get better each game and every time I come out on the field."
On his thoughts when the team signed new receivers: "I'm used to having a lot of competition in the room. I had great receivers in the room before me, and then they just brought in three other great receivers. All I'm here for is just to work hard and make plays, and just try to make a spot on this team. Every day I come out here, it doesn't really matter who they sign. I'm just out here working."
On if familiarity with QB Joe Flacco helps with his success: "It helps a lot – helps with the timing. I know where he's going to throw the ball. He knows where I'm going to be. I feel like I had a big head-start, compared to the three new receivers, with Joe, because last year I was throwing with him. It's just been good to have the timing with him."
On if attention to other receivers serves as motivation:"It's a little bit of motivation. I like to play; I'm a football player. It doesn't matter who they bring in, who's on the field, I'm going to do whatever I can to make plays. It was the motivation to show that I need to keep stepping my game up in this organization."
On what effect QB Joe Flacco being healthy has:"If your leader is out on the field during training camp, it's a big difference. The tempo of the offense is different. The passes are different. Everything is different when Joe is out here. It lets us get the actual start we need before the season, get the timing down and get the plays going. It's good to have him out here."
On if he anticipates his "large" role on special teams to continue: "I hope so! I love doing special teams. I feel like I make some big-impact plays on there. I want to continue, wherever I'm at, just continue to make plays. We'll see where they've got me at, but I'll keep working out there for sure."
On if, after his World Cup prediction, he has any other sports predictions: "No. I'm not going to lie, I'm just a France fan. I was kind of lucky." (laughter) "I don't really … I'm no 'Swami' or anything like that."
On which soccer club is his favorite: "My favorite? Juventus. I'm not going to say that now that they've got [Cristiano] Ronaldo, but I liked them before they even had Ronaldo. That's my favorite club team."
CB Tavon Young
On how he feels physically returning from injury: "I feel good. I'm probably near 100 percent, if not 100. I feel like I have everything – my quickness, my speed – so I feel good."
On his excitement on returning to the nickel position: "I feel good. Nickel – that's where all the plays are, like I said before. I just want to be on the field regardless of what I'm playing. I'm happy, and I'm excited for this season to be back with my teammates."
On being able to focus on playing one position: "Yes, because I get to focus on one technique. It's different techniques from inside and outside [corner]. So, when you're going back and forth you kind of lose focus a little bit. Not lose focus, but [the] technique changes. Now, I'm just worried about the one technique in the slot."
On if he found any benefits in not playing last season like studying the game differently: "For sure. I was still in meetings, still went to the games. I was still watching football, talking to the older guys, just listening, paying attention to the situations so when I'm out there, I know how to take it on."
On how his outlook has changed:"I always appreciated the game, but now it's not complaining for me. Practice … Like sometimes, I would be like, 'I don't want to practice today.' But now, I'm coming every day with that energy because it can be taken at any moment. That's one of the biggest things: Never take it for granted."
On how the communication roles change from the outside to inside corner: "In the inside, it's more talking to the linebackers, to the safeties. When you're the outside corner, it's mainly just you, for real on an island. But the inside is involved with the 'backers, involved with the run game more, so you have to talk to more people."
On if there's any hesitation in his movements:"No, not at all."
On the Ravens' new wide receivers:"Oh yeah, they great! It's great work. We had good receivers all around, not even just those three – the whole group. You have guys like Tim [White] who's quick, you got [Willie] Snead [IV] who's a route-runner who knows how to get open. I go against all types of guys, so when it comes to a game I've seen it."
On the depth of the cornerback position: "I feel like we have the best group, one of the best groups, if not the best in the league. We have depth all the way down to – whatever you want to say – threes of fours. I feel like everybody can play."